> > The other day a friend called me up and asked me to help him figure out a > "formula" to use to find the diameter of an attachment for a > carbite tool he has. He's a machinist. If you can imagine this, he had an > equilateral triangle and he only knew the height of the triangle. He > needed to know the diameter of the circle that fit inside of the triangle > so he could order the correct part to fit with the tool. > > I didn't think that there was a pre-made formula to figure this out so I > used knowledge of geometry and trigonometry to find the diameter. As a > prospective math teacher I was so excited to see my mathematical > knowledge put to the test. This was not a textbook problem, but one that > was a real world application problem that could easily be used in a 3rd > or 4th year algebra/trig class. The comment I made to my friend was that > I could tell my students there are lots of applications of mathematics in > the real world if we open our eyes to the possibilities. > > Martina Young > firstname.lastname@example.org > Yes this is a good application of math in real world, but I think this is also a very typical "problem by type" in most of the good geometry text books. So, I guess it implies the present school system does not do a good job on providing adequate practices on "problem by type", if what Martina described "this was not a textbook problem" is a globally true situation.